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Anchorage mayor and Alaska lieutenant governor candidate Dan Sullivan.
Dan Sullivan, helluva guy.
A Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in Alaska has had to sorta-apologize for comparing union dues to slavery. Comparing things to slavery that are not in fact slavery is one of the great Republican pastimes these days, but not only did Dan Sullivan go way, way out of proportion and display his utter lack of understanding of just what slavery was and is, he also managed to show his lack of understanding of or willingness to misrepresent the anti-union law he was embracing. Sullivan's apology fell short as so many Republican apologies these days do; he issued an "if the use of the word offended anyone" apology, and that only after first refusing to apologize, and accompanied by a defense of his position:
But in a statement late Wednesday afternoon, the Republican and current mayor of Anchorage said he remains opposed to rules compelling mandatory union membership for certain work, which he referred to as a form of "economic slavery."

"To me, the term has no racial connotations except that people of all races may be prohibited from holding certain jobs unless they pay tribute to an organization they may not support," he said in the statement, released by a city spokeswoman.

If you think that the term slavery has no racial connotations, or that it's about being prohibited from holding certain jobs, well, you're in serious need of some remedial history lessons. Shoot, some dictionary-reading lessons.

And about the other part: No American can be compelled to join a union. Period. What workers must, in some states, pay if they have a job under a union contract is a fee covering the direct costs of bargaining the contract and representing workers under that contract. If you're opposed to that, logically speaking you'd have to be opposed to staffing agencies that take part of the pay of the temp workers they place in jobs.

To summarize: Dan Sullivan is an idiot who doesn't understand slavery, unions, or apologies. Or he's an extremist who misrepresents them.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Republican way-compare everything you don't (7+ / 0-)

    like to slavery or Nazism.

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:11:31 AM PDT

  •  Your final para could have been (8+ / 0-)

    shortened to this:

    To summarize: Dan Sullivan is an idiot

    I’ve said before, I will always work with anyone who is willing to make this law work even better. But the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. -- President Barack Obama

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:19:29 AM PDT

  •  Slavery and Unions.....in FoxSpeak that's what's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, Aquarius40, Mannie

    called a Twofer.

  •  Let's analyze their analogy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, Aquarius40, Yonit, Mannie

    Unions usually equal well paying jobs with benefits. Slavery equals NO pay and NO benefits. Seems reasonable. snark

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:28:59 AM PDT

  •  At least,... (6+ / 0-)

    ...he managed to avoid a Holocaust comparison.  Sigh.

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:40:24 AM PDT

  •  Did you know that many people do not know (7+ / 0-)

    that they have been victims of Wage Theft?

    It's true. Among the many things my labor friends and I have picketed and protested, Wage Theft is a big one.

    Last year as we were gathering to march on a busy intersection in West Palm Beach, many of us had to pay to park our cars in the few parking lots in the downtown area.

    When I pulled in to one of them the attendant sort of sheepishly reminded me that I'd have to pay, and he wondered to me out loud what we were all doing with our signs and the muscians who came out to help us with our spirit songs.

    I explained to him that I was protesting on his behalf and he looked baffled. He was a very young, very nice Latino young man who did not know that he was being cheated out of his wages by the owners of the parking lot where he had been working.

    When I got ready to go, the same kid went to get my car and as he handed me the keys, I handed him a tip big enough to share with all of the guys who were on his shift.

    That's something I always do even if it's valet parking. 4 guys on duty, $4.00 tips. They don't all handle my car every time, but at least 2 of them do, so that's how I make it fair since I know they pool their tips. No matter where you go in the City, there is not that much parking on the street and at the places where I go all the time it's helpful that the staff knows I'm a good custumer for them too.

    My nice young man thanked me very much for picketing in the hot sun for him and it was apparent from the looks on the faces of his co-workers that he had spread the word because they all came out to thank me too.

    The more we know, the better off we all are. So spread the word everywhere you go.  

    Parking lot attendants vote. Store clerks vote - even on Worth Ave. at the highest end shops, the store clerks come out in support if they know why you are there.

  •  What? No, it's nothing like slavery. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril, JML9999

    It's more like the Holocaust, because reasons.

    "I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half." - Jay Gould, robber baron of the first Gilded Age.

    by cjenk415 on Thu May 08, 2014 at 10:12:57 AM PDT

  •  Toss him a boat Anchor(age) nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:34:05 PM PDT

  •  Republicans gotta offend. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Mannie


    Caution: Reality in the mirror may be closer than it appears.

    by glb3 on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:40:41 PM PDT

  •  These "non" apologies are getting tiresome. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yonit, Mannie

    Either these numbnuts can stand behind what flies out of their mouths or keep their yaps closed.

    Too many of these types of apologies get suspect at worst, and insincere at best.

    "Washington, DC: Where Corruption is Rewarded, and Ethical Merit is DESPISED.

    by The Truth on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:43:33 PM PDT

  •  The breathtaking tone deafness of it all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yonit, Mannie
    "To me, the term has no racial connotations except that people of all races may be prohibited from holding certain jobs unless they pay tribute to an organization they may not support."
    Besides the racial stupidity, there's that whole "organization they may not support".  How many Verizon employees are pro-kill-net-neutrality?   How many too-big-to-fail Bank employees are pro-CEO salary levels and pro-illegal foreclosure practices?

    This guy is a steaming turd.

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

    by notKeith on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:48:52 PM PDT

  •  Those "do not remove" tags on towels ... ? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rikon Snow, Mannie

    JUST ... LIKE ... SLAVERY!

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:50:25 PM PDT

  •  "Economic slavery"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yonit, annieli, Mannie

    You mean, getting poverty wages for a full time job? Wage theft? Businesses that rely on food stamps for their employees to survive?

    Oh wait. Those are all things that Republicans fight for.  That means they're all good things, right?

    "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

    by Hayate Yagami on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:51:41 PM PDT

  •  And unions are very strong in Alaska (6+ / 0-)

    All them oil jobs, them construction jobs, them government jobs, them teacher jobs, them trucking jobs.... mostly unionized.

    But in Alaska, they still vote Republican.

    Any group with the word "Patriot" in its name, probably isn't.

    by Senor Unoball on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:51:59 PM PDT

  •  Let's be clear: this is called a "Nopology" (5+ / 0-)

    I wish everyone, including the press, would call out anyone who uses this copout instead of an actual apology.

    To be clear:  When a person apologizes, it is an act of contrition for something the apologizer has said, done or not done.  They are expressing regret for their act and it is implied that they won't do that act again.

    A Nopology is when a person expresses regret over how someone else has reacted to an act by the "nopologist".  The nopologist has no contrition over their act, and indeed may only feel stronger about their need to have acted the way they did.  It's basically a "screw you" to anyone who may have a negative reaction to the act of the nopologist.

    If nopologists start to actually get called out on their bull shit, they might just be able to be shamed into trying some different tactic, or at least one that they can't get any traction with as an "apology".

    "When and if fascism comes to America...it will not even be called 'fascism'; it will be called, of course, 'Americanism'" --Professor Halford E. Luccock of Yale Divinity School; New York Times article from September 12, 1938, page 15

    by demongo on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:55:21 PM PDT

  •  No asshat... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yonit, Mannie, Dirtandiron

    unions help prevent management from treating workers like slaves.

    "You're free to speak your mind my friend as long as you agree with me" The Ostrich-Steppenwolf

    by theostrich on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:55:27 PM PDT

  •  I had to pay for a stamp on a letter ... SLAVERY! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie

    Besides which, the federal government not existing and such, I should have to pay any postage at all.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:57:06 PM PDT

  •  Dan Sullivan helping the Dems hold the Senate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yonit, Mannie, Greenfinches

    how?

    Well, the candidate for senate against Senator Begich (D-AK) is Dan Sullivan.  He's a former Marine, Harvard Law (I think?) graduate with crazy experience including Attorney General.  He's a formidable opponent.  

    The candidate for Lt. Governor is also named Dan Sullivan.  He's a notorious fool who says thinks like comparing union dues to slavery, he is not well respected by his peers, and his "hair" looks like it was carved out of wax.  

    This will be a great year of headlines like "Dan Sullivan says/does [something stupid]" followed by the Sullivan Senate campaign trying to explain that it's not him.  

    I half expect their campaign slogan to be "Sullivan for Senate.  Don't worry, it's not that Dan Sullivan."

  •  GOP counting on LoFo stupidity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie

    wage slavery

    Post Keynesian economics perceives wage slavery as resulting from inequality of bargaining power between labor and capital, which exists when the economy does not "allow labor to organize and form a strong countervailing force.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Thu May 08, 2014 at 03:20:33 PM PDT

  •  Slavery (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zumrum13

    Hi all,

    Long time reader first time commenter here.  Just wanted to say two things about this article:

    Slavery is not about races.  Ancient Egyptians kept slaves (Jews), ancient Greeks and Romans kept slaves, Native American tribes kept slaves, Middle Ages had slavery.  Modern day slaves exist on the black market of varying races, backgrounds and religions.  Equating something to slavery is not racist.  I would recommend the columnist head her own advice and take some remedial history classes.
    In America when someone says slavery, all anyone can think of is black slavery.
    Per dictionary.com Slave is defined as
    "noun
    1. a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant.
    2. a person entirely under the domination of some influence or person: a slave to a drug.
    3. a drudge: a housekeeping slave."
    No mention of race there, see?  Check out Wikipedia for a listing of slaves in various cultures throughout history for more info on slavery.  

    That said, Dan Sullivan is a huge douchebag. He campaigned to break up the city of Anchorage unions, and he partially succeeded, by making it so the city assembly gets the final call in contract negotiations with the unions instead of an impartial arbitrator.  He is an evil man who hates unions as much as homeless but there should be some real proof that he's racist before you slander him with that particular charge.
    Personally, I compare things to slavery all the time.  Minimum wage = slave wage.  Working your employees to the bone without caring for the damage the work does to their body because their expendable meat cogs in the corporate machine is slavery.

    Union Dues are protection fees.  You want to be protected from arbitrary actions by your employer, you pay your dues.  While it's not slavery saying it is is not racist by itself.

    That's just my two cents as an Anchorage resident, an Alaskan, a Democrat, American and someone with an opinion.

  •  I'm beginning to believe republicans (0+ / 0-)

    with small minds cannot grasp the horror of slavery.  It's as though they try to romanticize that period (stain) in our history.  Bundy talking about raising your children and the chickens in the yard.  And it seems like every day some ignorant GOPer is playing down what slavery really was.  I'm disgusted with the lot of them.  This is just more icing on that cake.

    The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

    by AnnieR on Thu May 08, 2014 at 03:44:04 PM PDT

  •  For whatever it's worth (0+ / 0-)

    I am against compelling unwilling people to join a union as well. But I am also against said person receiving any benefits a union has managed to guarantee for its members.

    I do not believe in big government, or small government. I believe in good government.

    by xenothaulus on Thu May 08, 2014 at 04:28:30 PM PDT

    •  Compulsion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron
      I am against compelling unwilling people to join a union as well.
      But I think the Laura's point is that nobody is compelled to join a unionbecause no one is compelled to take any one particular job. All legally binding contracts involve sacrificing some freedom. The terms of those contracts often impact other contracts by third parties. That's not slavery because we CHOOSE to enter into those contracts.

      There is nothing inherently wrong with closed shops, and the government has NO business sticking its nose in and banning them.

  •  I guess that rancher was right then! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    Slavery isn't so bad. As a slave, i.e., a dues paying member of CSEA, I get, among other things:

    * More frequent raises than the "management confidential" workers
    * Job security
    * Retirement
    * Tuition benefits
    * Discounted membership to BJ's
    * Discounted gym memberships
    * Discounted cell phone plan
    * Free glasses

    The tuition benefit alone is enough to justify the union dues.

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